Do not read if you've not seen the conclusion of The Missing
Well done The Missing. Meeting expectations in it's finale is always tough for a series like thi, especially when some sort of finality is expected; Broadchurch succeeded but The Fall had a second series to fill. And now, despite the obligatory whinging on Twitter, this series was wrapped up in a satisfying fashion with loose ends tied up and closure. For some.
First off let’s just cover the acting. If James Nesbitt isn’t nominated for awards for his performance as the tortured, obsessive father Tony Hughes then there’ll be something wrong with the world. His seething anger as the truth finally came out, his slow walk towards Alain Deloix’s bed, and the shaking tears as the story twisted and turned in front of him, all topped off a career high performance. As the calm, collected, introvert yin to Tony’s yang, Frances O’Connor had a less showy role and struggled to leave as much of an impression. Tcheky Karyo was outstanding again as the quiet detective trying to get to the truth. And little mentioned but in a deeply affecting performance as the troubled Vincent Bourg, Titus de Voogdt managed to bring to life some of the complex issues surrounding paedophilia and the effects on the perpetrator.
Back to the story though. Negatives first: the waste of time the 2009 abduction was in last week’s episode seven; the red herring that was Ian Garrett and Bourg; the convenient deathbed confession; the spare wheel that Jason Flemyng became; the feeling that it was stretched a couple of weeks longer than needed. Annoying yes, but not deal breaking.
Then we come to the finale. And everyone talks about closure, we all want closure, we want to know without doubt what happened to Olly Hughes. Is he alive? Dead? Somewhere in between? Well the genius of this final episode is that we’re not sure. We think we know; we're told the facts and the story by Alain. But they’re all third hand. There is no body. We’re not sure. Tony’s not sure. And this has always been Tony’s story. In the end we’re left in the same state as him: confused, frustrated, wanting real closure. He didn’t get it, we didn't get it. It's tough to take, the not knowing, but the reality is that many people never get the closure they want or need. A genius end to an outstanding series.